At the monthly Media Center Commission meeting on October 2, the Sun Prairie Improvement Council presented the Sun Prairie Media Center with a donation of $60,000. The generous donation will go towards the Friends of the Sun Prairie Media Center, the 501c3 group established to financially support, promote, and advocate for the Media Center.
Members of the Improvement Council are well aware of the Media Center and its work to educate and enrich the Sun Prairie community. Peter Steitz, the organization’s treasurer, is the husband of Pam Steitz, who was the Media Center director from 1992-2010.
“When we were discussing community groups to donate to, we knew that we wanted the funds to go to groups and organizations that are uniquely Sun Prairie and that contribute to making Sun Prairie a wonderful place to live,” said Steitz. “All of us agreed that the Media Center, with its long history of providing programming to inform our community, as well as being the home for the tremendously important KIDS-4 program, was a top choice to receive a donation.”
KIDS-4 is the after-school program run at the Media Center that allows SPASD students in grades 4-8 to create their own shows, videos, and podcasts that then run on the KIDS-4 channel and 103.5 FM The Sun Community Radio.
“In addition to KIDS-4 and the community programming, we also appreciate and wanted to recognize the efforts that the Media Center makes to broadcast city meetings and high school sports to those unable to attend,” said Improvement Council President Larry Jacobson. “With live streaming, you can be on vacation and still keep up on what’s happening right here in Sun Prairie thanks to the Media Center.”
“We are beyond excited for this generous gift,” said Sun Prairie Media Center director Jeff Robbins. “Though we haven’t had time to decide exactly how to utilize the funds, we have a wish list that we will be going through with our Friends group in the days and weeks ahead. But given overall budgetary concerns and the always rising cost of technology, this donation is definitely coming at a fantastic time.”
Robbins stressed that the Media Center has rarely been more active. “According to our records, we had our busiest month ever in the month of September 2019 in terms of volunteer hours. We also produced 221 unique programs during the month. We have also been busy with launching another year of KIDS-4 this month, updating and improving our between-program digital signage (now viewable on KSUN and KIDS-4) and working on a new smartphone app that we hope to launch this month.”
The non-profit Sun Prairie Improvement Council has a history of coordinating with the City of Sun Prairie in the development of Sun Prairie’s Business Park. Net proceeds from the sale of Business Park lots owned by the Sun Prairie Improvement Council have provided the funds for the organization’s donations to the Media Center and other community organizations.